See some cinematic classics on the big screen

TCM makes old movies new again at area theaters in May, June, and July.

"Smokey and the Bandit." Universal Pictures

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and Fathom Events continue their celebration of presenting timeless popular films the way they were meant to be seen – in big rooms with huge screens – during the spring/summer leg of the TCM Big Screen Classics series.

Upcoming entries include three films that are all over the movie map: the action-comedy “Smokey and the Bandit,” the snarky horror item “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” and the dark and dazzling musical drama “Cabaret.”

Set for multiple showings on May 29, and June 1 and 2, “Smokey and the Bandit” (1977) features Burt Reynolds as the Bandit who, with his accomplice Cledus (Jerry Reed), takes a gig hauling an illegal load of beer across many state lines. Runaway bride Carrie (Sally Field) is along for the ride, and blustery Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason) is in pursuit. It’s wild and raucous, it’s a bit romantic, it costars a Bassett hound named Fred, and there’s a brief side plot about Boston clam chowder.


Screening on June 12 and 15 is the creepy, yet oddly funny B&W mystery “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” (1962). It tells of how two aging former movie star sisters (Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, both in glorious overacting mode), who live together in an eerie old mansion, have grown to hate each other and how one of them becomes increasingly unhinged. A campy factor is added via the presence of Victor Buono as the pianist Edwin Flagg. It all reaches feverish pitch as a story behind the story is revealed at the climax.

“Cabaret” (1972), playing on July 17 and 20, scored Oscars for Best Actress (Liza Minnelli), Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey), and Director (Bob Fosse) with a tale of American singer Sally Bowles (Minnelli) performing in the seedy early-1930s Berlin-set Kit Kat Club, where the enigmatic Master of Ceremonies (Grey) holds forth, and Nazis hang out. Everything is turned upside-down for Sally when she meets and falls for a British student (Michael York). Many of the songs are terrific (“Cabaret,” “Money, Money”) and the atmosphere is decadent.

There are different cinemas and ticket prices, as well as varying showtimes for each of the titles. Please visit Fathom Events for detailed site and schedule information on the complete series.

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